Indoor cross-training for outdoor sport

Apr 11 2024

A person enjoys watersports
Lots of sports people will tell you that cross-training is essential to their performance. If you’re not familiar with cross-training, it’s including exercises from other disciplines to supplement their training. For example, swimmers will run, runners will cycle, and so on. Cross-training allows you to work out muscle groups you might not usually use in your favourite sport while helping you improve your cardiovascular fitness. It also adds a bit of variety to your training plan. If you’re new to the idea of cross-training, here are some suggestions to add into your training plan.

Yoga and stretching

A group of people doing yoga indoors

Yoga and other types of stretching are one of the most popular additions to athletes’ training plans. Improving your flexibility and range of motion is essential to a lot of sports. As well as this, yoga is great for working on your balance, strength and mobility.

Why is it important for climbers? Yoga encourages deep, focused breathing, which can help climbers to stay calm and focused during difficult climbs.

Why is it important for skiers? Skiing can put a lot of pressure on muscles in the legs and feet. Stretching these muscles regularly can help ease some of that pressure.

Why is it important for water sports? Having a good range of motion in the shoulders, torso and hips can improve paddling technique in water sports like kayaking.

Cardiovascular training

A pair of feet run on a treadmill

Good cardiovascular (CV) fitness is essential, no matter which sport you’re into. The main benefit is improved endurance, pumping oxygenated blood around your body, keeping the muscles going. Supplement your training regime with running, swimming or cycling to improve your CV fitness.

Why is it important for climbers? Long routes can require a sustained effort, which can lead to muscle fatigue. Boosted CV fitness helps with the delivery of oxygen to muscles, slowing the onset of this fatigue.

Why is it important for skiers? You’re often active for long periods of time when skiing, so working on your CV fitness is a great way to build your endurance.

Why is it important for water sports? Cramp and fatigue can be dangerous when in the water. Ensuring an efficient supply of oxygen to muscles can minimise the risk of this happening.

Strength training

A group of people led by an instructor do one-armed press ups

Equally as vital as flexibility and CV fitness, strength training should also be a part of your plan, even if your preferred sport already feels like strength training. Building strength in muscle groups you don’t usually work out will improve your muscle power and can help minimise your risk of injury. It will also help your muscles keep going for longer, as it takes longer to get tired.

Why is it important for climbers? Strength training for climbing can limit the risk of injury and improve stability on the wall.

Why is it important for skiers? Core strength is essential for stability while skiing, reducing the risk of falls.

Why is it important for water sports? Upper body strength is vital for windsurfers and sailors as you’ll spend your time manoeuvring the rig.

Whether you’re a climber, a skier, a water sports fanatic or something else, cross-training is sure to help you improve and reach your next goals. Keep up with all the latest news and offers from us by signing up to our newsletter